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    Hough's American Woods
    Group of 17 Books
    R.B. Hough
    10.00 x 7.00 x 1.50 inches (25.40 x 17.78 x 3.81 cm)

    Romeyn Beck Hough was an American physician and botanist who was inspired to document "all of the American woods, or at least the most important" (Hough's 1887 prospectus). Between 1888 and 1913, he did just that, publishing 13 volumes of The American Woods. For this undertaking, he developed a specialized cutter which was able to slice wood to a thickness of 1/1200 inch, so he could present these paper-thin cross-sectional slices on individual plates, allowing him to document over 1,000 North American trees in a single monumental work.

    Considered "one of the most sought-after sets of the 20th century," ("Denver, 2 Hour (#1411)" Antiques Roadshow. PBS, 2010) as well as "one of the most valuable contributions to the literature of forestry" (Book Review. Literary Digest. 1912: 44(1146). 701.), it won several awards from the literary community. As the set includes several now endangered and extinct tree species, it will remain one of the most comprehensive records on the subject, and, as such, it is an indispensable educational tool and should be cherished as a study aid. Finding this masterwork in its entirety is extremely rare.

    Romeyn B. Hough. The American Woods, Exhibited by Actual Specimens and with Copious Explanatory Text. Lowville, N. Y.: Published by the Author, 1888-1928. Mixed edition set, complete in fourteen volumes, including the uncommon, posthumously published, final volume; binding variant of half- or quarter-faux-morocco over green or brown (later volumes) blind-stamped pebbled cloth, potentially being a deluxe issue. Predominately first edition texts, first two volumes being third editions, and third volume a second edition, Volume X later (possibly a fourth edition, published in 1925). Includes duplicates of first two volumes in standard-issue binding with first edition texts in side-stitched binding of thread, as opposed to staples in later volumes, and an additional supplementary volume of plates: "Commercial Species II." Sixteen octavo pamphlets with 353 unique (and over fifty duplicate) plates, each containing three (or infrequently two) wood samples representing the transverse, radial and tangential sections of tree specimens. Original cloth folders and slipcases; slipcase lacking on "Commercial Species II." Only a few wood samples cracked or worn; slipcases rubbed with minor wear to edges. Very good overall.


    Provenance: Lewis Goodman Collection

    Note: Bookends do not come Lot.




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